You will find a pdf of the CPC Handbook and a 2-year cycle of course offerings for the counseling (CO) and the pastoral counseling (PC) courses in the File Cabinet.  We endeavor to offer the classes as scheduled in the 2-year cycle, yet faculty sabbaticals lead to temporary changes in what may be offered.  Click on File Cabinet in the Header or in the list to your right.

On this page you will find:

  • Welcome
  • Department Mission Statement
  • Information about Personal Counseling for Students
  • Course Complaint Process
  • Our Philosophy of Training
  • Guidelines for Seeking a Reference from a Professor


Welcome to Asbury Seminary and the Department of Counseling and Pastoral Care.  We are honored that you have chosen Asbury Seminary.  We look forward to getting better acquainted with you over the course of your academic training in counseling or pastoral counseling.  We trust that God will bless you as you seek to follow God’s call for your life and as we join you on that journey.

On this website you will find essential information that is related to the degree programs in the Department of Counseling and Pastoral Care.  The Department of Counseling and Pastoral Care website describes policies and procedures that pertain to your successful attainment of your professional counseling or pastoral counseling degree.

The information found here does not replace the Asbury Seminary Academic Catalog for academic policies nor does it replace the current Asbury Seminary Student Handbook.  In fact, we will refer you to those documents on several occasions. The degree plan outlined in the Academic Catalog under which you enrolled is your official degree plan.  If you do not know the year of the Academic Catalog under which you enrolled in your counseling degree plan, please contact your academic advisor.  He or she can provide this information to you.

Please visit the Asbury Seminary Admissions Office website if you would like to apply for admission to the counseling program.


Counseling and Pastoral Care Department Mission Statement

To equip students to serve communities by facilitating healing and growth through reflectively integrating professional counseling competencies and practices with Christian values, principles and resources.


Definition of Pastoral Counseling

Pastoral counseling moves beyond the support or encouragement a religious community can offer, by providing psychologically sound therapy that weaves in the religious and spiritual dimension. For more information on Pastoral Counseling go to


Definition of Professional Counseling

Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education and career goals. (20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling; as cited in Counseling Today, June 2010, p. 36).


Personal Counseling for Students

At times students in the counseling program desire personal counseling. At other times, the counseling faculty may recommend that a student seek personal counseling to attend to issues and concerns that appear to be impeding a student’s professional development and readiness to serve as a professional clinical counselor, marriage and family counselor, or pastoral counselor.  The faculty of the Department of Counseling and Pastoral Care do not provide private counseling for students in our degree programs because of the presence of dual relationships.  Counseling students should contact the Office of Community Life for specific information about obtaining personal counseling.  Additional information about counseling support is located in the Asbury Seminary Student Handbook.  You can find a copy of the Asbury Seminary Student Handbook at oneATS/Resources/Student Resources/Student Handbook.


Course Complaints

The student who has a course-related complaint [e.g., course grade, timely and substantive feedback, late work, incomplete work, interpretation of course requirements, etc.] with a professor should talk first with the professor involved. If the professor is satisfied that the issue is one of fact, he/she may suggest a resolution to the complaint. If the student agrees with the faculty member’s judgment, the matter shall be concluded.

If the student and professor do not agree whether the issue is one of fact or judgment, the student will consult with the dean of the professor’s school. The dean, on the basis of a conference with the faculty member, will make a preliminary decision regarding whether the matter is one of fact or judgment and will inform the faculty member and the student of his/her decision, in writing. If the dean indicates that the issue is one of judgment and the student accepts the decision, the matter may be terminated. Or, if the dean’s preliminary decision is that the issue is one of fact, and the faculty member agrees and acts accordingly, the matter may be terminated.

If the student or faculty member does not agree with the dean’s preliminary decision, the matter may be presented to the Academic Council in writing for discussion and recommendation. The council shall invite the faculty member and the student involved to participate in the discussion, though the final decision will be made in executive session. If the academic council decides that the issue is one of fact, it shall direct the family member regarding the resolution of the issue. The academic council shall tender its decision to all parties in writing.

In the event that either the faculty member and/or the student does not agree with the decision of the academic council, the faculty member and/or the student may appeal to the vice president of academic affairs/provost (vpaa/provost) who shall be the final arbiter with respect to the resolution of the complaint.

Official documentation of all course-related complaints and resolution to same shall be housed in the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost.


Our Philosophy of Training

The CPC faculty recognize that we work with adult learners who seek to integrate their Christian faith with professional or pastoral counseling practices. Therefore

    1. We see students as learners who are capable of self-direction. Many aspects of our classes offer students opportunities to choose topics for further research so that students may develop specific areas of personal interest. Other aspects of class rely on informed student input, such as class discussions and class presentations. We expect students to come to class prepared to engage the material with one another and the instructor.
    2. We see students as learners who have different learning styles and who benefit from a variety of teaching approaches. Our classes employ teaching methods that seek to engage oral, visual, kinesthetic, and reflective approaches to learning.
    3. We see students as peers who bring their own histories, experiences, and expertise to the classroom. We expect to learn from our students as our students bring their own voice to the classroom.
    4. We see students as members of diverse communities, which speak into students’ lives.  Our students come from different racial, ethnic, religious, family, and class backgrounds. Women and men are in our program. These differences enrich our conversations, which enhance student learning.


The CPC faculty are committed to the task of integrating Christian faith with professional counseling and pastoral counseling practice.

    1. We seek to develop students who are reflective practitioners.  That is, we hold high expectations for our students to master the content and the practice of professional counseling or pastoral counseling, and to be aware of how their faith commitments impact these perspectives and practices so that they render ethical counseling.
    2. We attend to the integrative task in all of our counseling classes, some more directly (such as counseling theories and techniques) than others (such as research methodology).
    3. We want to challenge our students to ponder what it means to be Christians who counsel in a wide variety of settings, secular and sacred.


The CPC faculty are committed to modeling professional and ethical competencies in counseling and to provide opportunities for students to gain experience in developing ethical and professional counseling competencies.

    1. We offer “hands on” opportunities in many of our classes so that students can learn by doing.
    2. We provide substantive and timely feedback on student assignments so that students can learn from their own efforts.


Guidelines for Asking Professors for References

We are happy to serve as references for you as we are able. We will provide an honest assessment of our experiences with you and of your counseling competencies. In order to do so we must receive pertinent information from you. To help us write the most complete reference possible, we need the following information.  Please submit this information to us when you give us a reference form, or when you list us as references on a resume or job application.

    1. Personal information: Name, age
    2. Statement of career goals and objectives
    3. Education: Undergraduate institution, degree, date of degree; Graduate studies (please include beginning and end date of study at Asbury Seminary), post-graduate studies
    4. Scholastic Achievement/Aptitude Scores – as applicable to your request
    5. Honors, Awards, Scholarships
    6. Professional Affiliations (ACA, CAPS, etc.)
    7. Career-related experiences that contribute to the content of the reference letter
    8. Internship during graduate studies – Location/Site, Supervisor, Duties performed, Dates of internship
    9. Extracurricular activities that are pertinent to your reference request
    10. Leadership opportunities
    11. Publications/Writing

Please provide postage for reference forms that you wish us to mail.  Make sure we know the deadline for each particular reference.